Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

‘Killer’ pilot’s trial finally kicks off

By Mashudu Netsianda

The trial of an Airforce of Zimbabwe pilot who allegedly brutally murdered his Gweru-based girlfriend last year finally kicked off at the Bulawayo High Court yesterday.

Tashinga Musonza
Tashinga Musonza

The trial of Tashinga Musonza (29), who allegedly killed Lucy Duve (32) in a crime of passion in November last year, was initially scheduled to start on January 28 before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa who was on circuit in Gweru.

The matter was then remanded following an application made by the defence counsel to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court.

The accused person’s then lawyer, Mr James Makiya, had made an application to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court for the purposes of challenging the existence or presence of assessors on the High Court bench.

The trial was then reset for February 19 at the Bulawayo High Court before Justice Nokuthula Moyo, but again it failed to kick off and was struck off the roll and indefinitely postponed after the defence counsel sent a sick note.

Musonza ditched Mr Makiya a few days before the trial citing exorbitant fees and engaged Mr Kalvern Tundu of Chihambakwe Mutizwa and Partners.

The matter was rescheduled for June 18 and again failed to take off after Mr Tundu indicated that he had not drafted the defence outline citing short notice.

Justice Moyo subsequently postponed the matter and ordered the lawyer to file the defence outline by June 28.

Musonza yesterday appeared before Justice Moyo facing a murder charge in connection with Duve’s death.

At least nine State witnesses, among them Dr Sanganai Pesanai, the pathologist who examined the deceased’s body, are expected to give their testimonies during the four-day trial.

Musonza allegedly fatally assaulted Duve (32) who was working for a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) accusing her of cheating on him with his colleague.

The prosecutor, Ms Nokuthaba Ngwenya, said on November 25, Musonza went to their lodgings at around 10PM and found Duve asleep. He allegedly accused her of cheating on him with his colleague.

The two allegedly drove to the airbase since Musonza wanted the matter clarified. They allegedly woke up Duve’s alleged lover who denied being in a relationship with her.

Musonza allegedly got furious and started assaulting his girlfriend.

His colleague tried to restrain him but was overpowered before he ran away from the scene to seek assistance from colleagues.

Upon their return they found Duve lying unconscious in a pool of blood.

Musonza later drove Duve to Clay Bank Hospital in the company of two of his colleagues and another female who was said to be Duve’s friend.

She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital leading to the arrest of Musonza.

A post-mortem report showed that Duve had a fractured skull, blood clots in her brain and that her lungs were affected by the attack among other injuries.

In his defence outline, Musonza admitted that they had a fight with Duve, but however, argued that she was the aggressor.

“While I admit that I fought with the deceased, I did not foresee that death would occur. The deceased succumbed to injuries sustained when she fell onto a glass. She was actually the aggressor when she attacked and provoked me by trying to stab me with a broken empty bottle and during the commotion she fell and got injured,” he stated in his defence outline.

The trial continues today with the first State witness expected to testify. The Chronicle